The Instigator
ExsurgeDomine
Pro (for)
Losing
3 Points
The Contender
GOP
Con (against)
Winning
12 Points

The doctrine of Purgatory is Biblical

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Post Voting Period
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after 3 votes the winner is...
GOP
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/15/2013 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,687 times Debate No: 35556
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (15)
Votes (3)

 

ExsurgeDomine

Pro

Resolution: The doctrine of Purgatory is Biblical

As Pro, I will affirm. Con will negate.

Definitions

Furthermore, I declare, I proclaim, I define that 'Biblical' is to be taken as meaning 'In agreement with the scriptures.' [1]

Rules

First round is for acceptance. No trolling or profanity. I must be a Catholic.

Sources

1. http://www.debate.org...;
GOP

Con

I accept. Present your argument, Pro.
Debate Round No. 1
ExsurgeDomine

Pro

Opening Remarks

Given the definition of 'Biblical', and the wording of the resolution, I note that I am not under obligation to prove Purgatory from the Scriptures. Rather, I will show that the doctrine of Purgatory is consistent with the Scriptures, and in fact the best explanation given certain passages.

I will begin my main case with a brief introduction to purgatory:

'The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect, which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned. The Church formulated her doctrine of faith on Purgatory especially at the Councils of Florence and Trent. the tradition of the Church, by reference to certain texts of Scripture, speaks of a cleansing fire: As for certain lesser faults, we must believe that, before the Final Judgment, there is a purifying fire. He who is truth says that whoever utters blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will be pardoned neither in this age nor in the age to come. From this sentence we understand that certain offenses can be forgiven in this age, but certain others in the age to come.' [1]

It is written that God cannot look upon evil (cf. Habakkuk 1:13), therefore it stands to reason that if God is to dwell with a people (cf. Apocalypse 21:3) that they must be holy and blameless (Ephesians 1:4). However, it is clear that people are by nature flawed (cf. Romans 3:23). Because of this, it is difficult to walk in the light. Yet still, despite this, it is possible to commit sin which does not lead to death (cf. 1 John 5:17), and for centuries the fate of those who died imperfectly purified has been considered. The conclusion, faithful to the teachings of the twelve Apostles and of the Lord Jesus, Word of God, was Purgatory.

There are several passages which support the idea of Purgatory above all other potential conclusions. First among these occurs in the book of Matthew, where Jesus speaks concerning anger. Matthew 5:

'(25) Make friends quickly with your accuser, while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison; (26) truly, I say to you, you will never get out till you have paid the last penny.'

The analogy here used by the Lord, and particularly the last phrase ('you will never get out till you have paid the last penny') favors a description of purgatory over hell. Hell is eternal (cf. Matthew 25:46, Apocalypse 14:11), whereas purgatory is temporal, analogous to the difference between being handed over to the executioner and being handed over the jailer. Most jailed people could eventually become free, as the Lord alludes to with the paying of pennies. The clear implication is that one is able to get out by paying the last penny, yet it is better to avoid the whole nasty business entirely if you can. This does not fit hell, which is inescapable, and favors purgatory.

Next, Matthew 12:

'(32) And whoever says a word against the Son of man will be forgiven; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.'

This is already elaborated upon above by the Catechism.

Next, 1 Corinthians 3:

'(13) each man’s work will become manifest; for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. (14) If the work which any man has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. (15) If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.'

After each man's work is revealed at the Day (of judgment) by fire, they may receive a reward or may suffer loss only to be later saved. The second case cannot refer to heaven, as one does not suffer loss in heaven. It also cannot refer to hell, because those in hell are not to be eventually saved. This by necessity points towards an intermediate position, purgatory.

Lastly, 2 Maccabees 12 and 2 Timothy 1:

'(25) But if he was looking to the splendid reward that is laid up for those who fall asleep in godliness, it was a holy and pious thought. Therefore he made atonement for the dead, that they might be delivered from their sin.'

'(16) May the Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me; he was not ashamed of my chains, (17) but when he arrived in Rome he searched for me eagerly and found me— (18) may the Lord grant him to find mercy from the Lord on that Day—and you well know all the service he rendered at Ephesus.'

Prayers for the dead are offered up, however there is no coherent reasoning to do so unless purgatory or a similar state exists. It is unnecessary and completely superfluous to pray for someone who is already in heaven; they already have union with the Lord and can profit nothing by your intercession. Similarly, it is futile and without hope of success to pray for someone who is already in hell; they have perished and are beyond hope of salvation, your petition is in vain. Thus, the only way prayers for the dead are justified is if there is an intermediate state between heaven and hell.

Conclusion

I believe I have provided sufficient Scriptural evidence to justify believing in purgatory. So as not to straw-man, I will avoid contending with any potential Scriptural objections my opponent may have until next round.

Thank you.

Sources:

1. http://www.vatican.va...
GOP

Con

Thank you for your response, Pro.

To start my argument, I would like to counter the brief introduction that my opponent brought up:

We must notice that the context of Matthew 12:32 refers to the unpardonable sin itself, not purgatory. True, the Catholic interpretation is that some sins are forgiven after death, as supposedly implied by the "in the age to come" part. However, this would be ignoring the parallel passage on Mark 3:28-29. These verses say, "28 Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme: 29 But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation." "Jesus is not, then, referring to the possibility of cleansing in the future, but is instead speaking of an "eternal sin," one that has no forgiveness whatsoever. If the Roman interpretation of Matthew 12 is valid, *then Mark's rendition is not.* Obviously, this cannot be, hence, it is the Roman interpretation that must be rejected" (1).

Like Pro said, it is written that God cannot look upon evil, therefore meaning that people must be holy and blameless in order for God to dwell with them. Pro also says that people are flawed by nature, but one key difference is that Lord Jesus Christ made everything much simpler. 1 John 1:7 says, "But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin." So, I would like to ask you, Pro, if Jesus cleanses us from ALL sin, then how exactly is Purgatory "consistent" with the Scriptures? Here, we can see that this doctrine unfortunately implies that Jesus' sacrifice is insufficient. Moving on, the Catholic religion apparently teaches that believers would go to Purgatory if they committed a "non-deadly sin" and died without repenting of it (2). In the process, however, this teaching makes an unscriptural image of the varying degrees of sin (varying degrees like deadly and not deadly). While some sins are greater than others (some are so great and deadly that they even prompt God to take away the life of the unrepentant believer [3]), we must keep in mind that all these varying degrees are only applicable in the earthly sense. How do we know that the aforementioned verse is only referring to sins in an earthly sense? Well, Romans 6:23 says, "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Here, we can see that Paul made NO distinction between the levels of sin. He simply said that sin, regardless of its severity, leads to death/hell. To sum it up, a believer would directly go to heaven after death, considering that Jesus Christ cleanses us from ALL sin, and that the severity of sins do not matter in the eternal sense (4).


Matthew 5

Now, my opponent also says that Matthew 5:25-26 supports the idea of Purgatory. However, what my opponent seemed to miss here is the context. What was Christ actually talking about here? If one reads Matthew 5:22-25, then he would find out that it is talking about anger towards others (5). Here is what the passage says:

"22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
23 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; 24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. 25 Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison."

Pro's interpretation of Matthew 5:25-26 could have made sense if the accuser was Satan, the judge was God, and the officer was an angel (6). However, that was not the case, because, well, the previous verses talked about the affairs of men, including instructions on how to deal with your foes.

(Keep in mind that I have already made my response regarding Matthew 12 above.)

1 Corinthians 3

Next, we must notice that "work" is the key word. Nowhere does it say that the believer himself passes through the fire, but rather his works pass through the fire. Let's take a look at verse 15:

"If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire."

Here, we can see that it refers to the believer escaping through the flames, and not being cleansed through the flames (7).
Pro also says that the "second case" cannot refer to heaven, "as one does not suffer loss in heaven." Here, Pro misses the part where a believer suffers loss in terms of his rewards. Some people in heaven have many rewards, whereas others have little to none. How do we know this? We know this because the passage (see 1 Corinthians 3:12-15) talk about believers' works pass through the fire to "test" how qualitative the said works are. Some of those works pass the "test" because their works are qualitatively sufficient (like gold, silver, and precious stones), and some do not. In other words, some believers "suffer loss" because their works are of poor quality (like straw, hay, wood, and other things that get burned), but they themselves are saved regardless.

2 Maccabees 12 and 2 Timothy 1

Finally, Pro brings up 2 Maccabees 12 (from the Apocrypha) and 2 Timothy 1 to say that prayers for the dead are offered up. This is problematic because Pro erroneously displays that 2 Maccabees is part of the Scriptures to begin with.
The entire Apocrypha (including the Maccabees 1 and 2) was rejected by the Jews (8), who were entrusted with the oracles of God (see Romans 3:1-2), and was never quoted in the New Testament at all (9). If Pro wishes to use the verse from this book, then he would have to explain why it is considered as part of the Scriptures. Moreover, what Paul said on 2 Timothy 1:16-18 does not constitute a prayer. What he said was simply a wish or an exclamation (10). Regardless, I would like to ask you, ExsurgeDomine, why exactly did you think that Paul was offering prayers in these verses?

Conclusion

As I have said in the beginning, I would like to thank Pro for his response. I also think I have provided enough Scriptural corroboration to justify the belief that Purgatory does not exist. Once again, I would like to ask Pro this question:

How exactly is Purgatory "consistent" with the Scriptures if Jesus Christ cleanses us from ALL sin?

Sources:

1. http://vintage.aomin.org...
2. http://www.staycatholic.com...
3. http://www.gotquestions.org...
4. http://www.gotquestions.org...
5. http://www.creationliberty.com...
6. http://www.coffeewithcalvin.com...
7. http://www.gotquestions.org...
8. http://www.blueletterbible.org...
9. http://www.bible.ca...
10. http://www.biblegateway.com...

Debate Round No. 2
ExsurgeDomine

Pro

Opening Remarks

I will first defend my own case before contending Con's positive arguments.

Matthew 12

Con claims that if my interpretation of Matthew 12 is valid, then Mark 3 is not, however this is completely non-sequitur. I agree that the unpardonable sin has no forgiveness, and it is the primary topic as shown in the parallel passags. However, this does not mean that Matthew 12 cannot contain additional information that Mark 3 does not which could carry the implication of forgiveness in the age to come, as it's not as though Mark 3 says that no sins can be forgiven in the age to come, only that that one sin which is already known as being unforgivable is eternal. I ask Con to elaborate on this argument because I feel as though I am failing to understand it; as it stands I make no sense of it and therefore conclude that I misunderstand.

Matthew 5

Some important information to keep in mind is 2 Timothy 3:

'(16) All scripture is inspired by God [theopneustos] and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness'

And also 1 Corinthians 9:

'(9) For it is written in the law of Moses, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it is treading out the grain.” Is it for oxen that God is concerned? (10) Does he not speak entirely for our sake?'

Therefore I pose the question to Con, 'For it is written that the Lord said "truly, I say to you, you will never get out till you have paid the last penny." Is it for worldly punishment that the Lord is concerned, especially given what he spoke to the crowds mere moments before "Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account."?'

I am, of course, neither the first nor the last to interpret this metaphorically. In defense of this method of interpretation, I call upon St. Augustine [1] and Origen the heretic [2], Augustine for his disagreement with me on what the prison is and Origen because he is a heretic.

Added to this, of course, is that throughout his sermon, the Lord Jesus speaks constantly of hell and sin. It is most peculiar to argue that he began warning against hell (cf. Matthew 5:22), then digressed briefly to give purely secular legal counsel (Con's interpretation of Matthew 5:26), before returning to hell once more (cf. Matthew 5:29).

1 Corinthians 3

Con denies that the believer himself passes through fire, however the verse states that 'he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.', which is close enough for government work. Con also arbitrarily seperates the believer from his works, of which the poor ones are purged by the fire.

In countering my claim that one does not suffer loss in heaven, Con contends that the loss is suffered in terms of rewards, however his claim that some in heaven have many rewards whereas others have none seems to consist of little more than speculation, and strange speculation at that given that heaven itself ought to be reward enough for anyone.

2 Maccabees 12

2 Maccabees is not Apocrypa, but anticipating dispute over this point I also provided 2 Timothy 1 to bolster the same argument. I will briefly defend my usage of Maccabees, but it is not a critical point.

Con argues that the Jews rejected Maccabees, and that other canonical books which he refers as pejoratively as 'Apocrypa' were not quoted in the New Testament. However, it is known that some Jews rejected some thirty-four Old Testament books that are almost universally accepted today (some of which were clearly accepted by the Lord Jesus himself), which makes Con's decision to trust the Jews who happened to agree with him appear arbitrary or affected by confirmation bias. Should Con choose to reject all Old Testament books that are not quoted in the New Testament, he ought to find himself throwing out Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Solomon along with Maccabees [3].

For my part, as what constitutes Sacred Scripture was not defined, I feel justified in using a definition agreeable to the majority of Christians (Catholic + Orthodox).

2 Timothy 1

Con fails to address the meat of this argument, instead falling back to an counter based purely on semantics. I have no intention of defining my way to victory, but if Con wishes to haggle over what constitutes a prayer, definition of the relevant term is a must.

The Oxford English Dictionary defines 'prayer' as 'a solemn request for help or expression of thanks addressed to God or another deity'.

Let me check this definition against what Paul wrote.

'a solemn request' - There is nothing in Paul's request that implies flippancy or an otherwise irreverant attitude, and it is written most formally ('may the Lord grant him to find mercy from the Lord on that Day').

'for help' - Paul asks for mercy for Onesiphorus, which is a petition for help not on his behalf but on behalf of another. That still qualifies.

'addressed to God' - 'may the Lord' should suffice as evidence.

That is why exactly I think Paul was offering prayer; because he was. Even if he wasn't, the essentials of my argument remain.

Reply to Con's Arguments

Con's argument in favor of his view seems to consist mainly of two points; that the Lord Jesus cleanses from all sin, therefore purgatory is uneeded and that there is no differentiation between degrees of sin.

First, Con's usage of 1 John 1:7 ought to be addressed.

'(7) but if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. (8) If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.'

It is important to note that the way in which the blood of the Lord cleanses from sin is not specified. If I say to someone that I will cleanse them of all bacteria, I could do so by washing them, incinerating them, dousing them in a powerful chemical bath, nuking them, etc. as long as the end goal of removing all bacteria was achieved. Similarly, as long as the ends of cleansing from all sin and the thing doing the cleansing (the blood of the Lord Jesus) remain constant, the exact method used might vary.

Secondly, Con claims that there are no varying degrees of sin.

'(16) If any one sees his brother committing what is not a mortal sin, he will ask, and God will give him life for those whose sin is not mortal. There is sin which is mortal; I do not say that one is to pray for that. (17) All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin which is not mortal.'

Con counters with Romans 6:23, which he then interprets in a way contradictory to the above passage. According to him, all sin leads to death, although what John wrote above stands directly in contradiction to that by stating literally the exact opposite. To reconcile this, Con sources a website saying that a mortal sin is one that causes God to strike the sinner down on the spot, an interpretation which is inconsistent with the rest of John's letter.

1 John 5:12

'He who has the Son has life; he who has not the Son of God has not life.'

David Bates explains:

'St. John again explains that Jesus grants us supernatural life, but he then goes on to say that a person without Son “has not life”. What’s another way of saying “has not life”? That’s easy, “has death”. Those without the Son are spiritually dead.
Given this context, when John speaks about “death” in the main passage under consideration, it’s far more likely that he is referring to a spiritual reality rather than a physical one.' [4]

If this is true, then Con's interpretation of Romans 6 is wrong, and it can be concluded that there are eternal distinctions between various sins.

Conclusion

As my character count has almost dipped into the negatives, I will end my round here by answering Con's last question.

I answer that the manner of cleansing is not specified.

Sources:
1. http://www.newadvent.org...
2. http://www.newadvent.org...
3. http://www.bible.ca...
4. http://restlesspilgrim.net...
GOP

Con

Once again, I would like to thank ExsurgeDomine for his response.

Matthew 12

Firstly, I would like to point out that Pro used the non-sequitur term improperly. The term "refers to a conclusion that is not aligned with previous premises or evidence" (11). When I said that Matthew 12 was referring to the unforgivable sin itself (itself was and still is the keyword here), I made the indication that Purgatory was not in the equation at all. We could already see that Mark 3:29 says the unpardonable sin hath never forgiveness. Like you said, Pro, Matthew 12:32 does indeed say "in this age, or in the age to come" (which is a variant of hath never forgiveness conveying the same information). How do we know that it conveys the same (nothing additional) information? We know this because if Matthew 12:32 solely said, "in this age", then it would be referring to a temporary period of time (telling us that it is another version of the term "never"). On the contrary, we see that it says "in this age, or in the age to come", telling us that it is in fact not temporary. Since we now know that Matthew 12 is the same as Mark 3 (which talks about the unforgivable sin with no mention of Purgatory), we can logically deduce that Matthew 12 is exclusively referring the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit itself. In other words, if we were to say that Matthew 12 talked about Purgatory, then we would be rejecting Mark's rendition (1), as he just exclusively wrote about a sin that would never be pardoned. So, I ask you, Pro, would this really be non-sequitur? Could you really understand Matthew 12 to be saying that certain sins are forgiven in the age to come?

Matthew 5

Moving on, Pro says that the Lord is not concerned about worldly punishment, given that He said, "Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account." Here, Pro misses that Jesus referred to the danger of the council after one says "Raca" to his brother on verse 22. So, in this case, the Lord was concerned about our earthly affairs. He, as usual, gave us words of wisdom in order for us to deal with our earthly issues. Also, my opponent says, "It is most peculiar to argue that he began warning against hell (cf. Matthew 5:22), then digressed briefly to give purely secular legal counsel (Con's interpretation of Matthew 5:26), before returning to hell once more (cf. Matthew 5:29)." Again, saying that Jesus' digression in between is peculiar is akin to talking as if he never mentioned the danger of the council at all. On the contrary, it seems reasonable that Jesus would talk about the legal counsel along with hell, since he mentioned both of the dangers (one is about the council for saying "Raca", and the other is calling someone a fool).

1 Corinthians 3

Indeed, the verse does state, "he himself will be saved, but only as through fire." However, notice that it says "as through fire", not that one is literally cleansed through the fire. This makes sense because when a believer's works are of poor quality, they would get burned in the flames. Even though his works get burned, the believer is still saved regardless. However, this is like if the believer passed through the flames (7), considering that the poor works are burned up and that there would be no high-quality works. The hypothetical believer would be like an unprotected man, since he is metaphorically not equipped well with high-quality works. Simply put, it all has to do with the word "as", which was unfortunately overlooked by Pro.

Moving on, my claim that some have many rewards in heaven whereas others have none should not be described as "seems to consist of little more than speculation", because Matthew 6:20-21 says, "20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." From these verses, we can conclude that some believers have certain levels of rewards, as indicated by the "there will your heart be also" part. Finally, I would like to say that heaven is not a reward, but it is a gift. One does not do works to go to heaven. "Ephesians 2:8-10 explains, "8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast." If we do works to be saved, then salvation is no longer free.

2 Maccabees 12

How is 2 Maccabees not in the Apocrypha, Pro? I would like you to elaborate on this on the next round. According to Ankerberg Theological Research Institute, 2 Maccabees is included in the Apocryphal books (12). Moreover, I would like to ask Pro to show me a source where it says that the Jews rejected some thirty-four Old Testament books, instead of merely stating it with no substantiation. Even though Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Solomon were not quoted, they were still accepted by the Jews, whereas the Apocrypha was neither quoted in the New Testament nor was it accepted by the Jews (13). So, do you see the difference here, Pro?

2 Timothy 1

Now, perhaps Pro's argument could have made sense if Paul referred to the Lord in second person. However, Paul referred to him in the third person. Given that it is in the third person, we can firmly say that there is no conclusive proof that Paul was even making a prayer. If Paul used second person, then we could at least have gotten the idea that Paul was trying to make an interaction with God. What we can conclude is that Paul simply made a statement expressing his desire in an exclamatory manner, with no indication that he tried to converse with God. (So, can you really say that it was addressed to God?) Simply put, Pro arbitrarily made the hasty conclusion that he was actually praying, which is a logical fallacy.

More Refutations

Furthermore, Pro's argument also could have made sense here if 1 John 1:7 said, "Jesus Christ cleanses us from ALL sin." (If it said this, then it would have opened up the possibilities of many methods being used.) However, the verse says it's the blood that cleanses ALL sin. When it says the blood cleanses us from ALL sin, it is referring to Jesus' crucifixion. So, we can safely say that there was only one method used, and that was His crucifixion. If we burn in Purgatory, then Jesus Christ's blood is no longer doing the cleansing; the flames would be doing the cleansing.

Moreover, I will still repeat that there are varying degrees of sin in an earthly sense. For example, there are certain sins that prompt God to take away someone's life. A couple of examples of this would be the case of Ananias and Sapphira, and the case of a man (his heart was hardened beyond hope as he was unrepentant) having sexual relations with the wife of his father (14). The unpardonable sin would be another example of this, as it guarantees damnation. Since someone who commits this sin is beyond hope, we can connect this with what John said. On 1 John 5:16, he wrote, "I do not say that he shall pray for it." So, we can indeed say that John was referring to a physical reality, therefore not contradicting my interpretation of Romans 6. If one says that John was likely talking about a spiritual reality just because he went on to say that a person without Jesus does not have life, then he would be making an appeal to probability. This is unfortunately another logical fallacy.

Conclusion

I would like to thank Pro again for his participation. I believe that he has made a strong response, and I believe that I have made a strong one as well.

Sources:

11. http://examples.yourdictionary.com...
12. http://www.jashow.org...
13. http://pleaseconvinceme.com...
14. http://carm.org...





Debate Round No. 3
ExsurgeDomine

Pro

Matthew 12

Matthew is also exclusively writing about the unpardonable sin, with that I agree, however the words he writes to express that the sin is unpardonable carries the additional implication that sins are forgiven in the age to come. The forgiveness of these sins is not what he's discussing, but is still an implication nonetheless. Con seems to be arguing that we know Matthew conveys the same information as Mark because he conveys the same information, and then just throws on the unjustified assumption that no additional implications are present. Con makes a leap from demonstrating that Matthew and Mark convey the same information to the unsupported conclusion that the passage in Matthew contains no additional implications, by falsely equating conveying the same information with regards to the eternal sin with being the same in all aspects.

I'm not saying Matthew 12 teaches purgatory. I'm saying that it implies purgatory, and it does, because the implication of saying that the eternal sin will not be forgiven in either this age or the age to come implies that there is forgiveness of other, non-eternal sins in the age to come. This reading of Matthew would in no way invalidate Mark, unless it was argued that the primary teaching of Matthew 12 was purgatory or something, which is certainly not what I'm doing.

Matthew 5

I find it strange that Con seems to think that the great council, charged with the most important matters, would itself be called upon to deal with every instance in which someone calls his brother 'raca' (interpreted 'senseless'). That's simply ridiculous. It's roughly the modern equivalent of me demanding that the Supreme Court judge the accusations I bring against my neighbor for playing his music too loudly one night, and if Con actually thinks that the Lord was warning people that the Sanhedrin itself would personally punish anyone who simply saying 'raca', then Con makes the Lord a fool.

In this passage, the Lord is clearly extending the traditional view of 'you shall not kill'. In the same line that Con argues the Lord warned against the council, it also says:

'whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be liable to the hell of fire.'

It is clear that the Lord is using the council as an illustration, and it cannot mean the actual literal council which would have no cause to take up such a minor event as a petty exchange of insults. It is possible to make the council a metaphor, but there's not too much value or reason in making the reference to hell a metaphor, and since it doesn't make any sense for the Lord to switch from talking about temporal things to eternal things in the same sentence. While I think it's pretty obvious that the Lord would not pull a topic swap halfway through without any warning whatsoever, Con obviously disagrees, so I'll source a couple of commentaries that affirm 'raca' was not a matter that fell within the council's jurisdiction [1][2].

1 Corinthians 3

I blundered pretty egregiously by failing to adequately respond to Con's claim that the loss suffered was in terms of rewards. The word interpreted 'suffer loss', 'zemioo', means 'to affect with damage, do damage to or to sustain damage, to receive injury, suffer loss' [3]. Would you claim a housing council damaged your house by blocking your attempt to extend it? Would you claim that someone injured you by not giving you something? Con tried to explain this away by making the loss about the rewards, but they didn't lose the rewards since they neither had the rewards nor were to receive the rewards in the first place! Thus they would not be suffering loss by not getting rewards never intended for them, and my first argument here still applies.

2 Maccabees 12

The Ankerberg Theological Research Institute is no doubt run by heretics.

'And it has thought it meet that a list of the sacred books be inserted in this decree, lest a doubt may arise in any one's mind, which are the books that are received by this Synod. They are as set down here below... two books of the Machabees, the first and the second...' - OEcumenical Council of Trent [4]

The Greek Orthodox Council of Jerusalem accepts Maccabees [5], and so do the Eastern Orthodox in general according to this site [6]. I can't speak with confidence for the Oriental Orthodox, but I'm pretty sure they accept it as well, and if that is the case than all Apostolic churches consider it canonical rather than apocryphal.

The Sadducees only held to the Torah, which is obvious when one reads about the Lord's encounter with them in Matthew 22, which I won't quote because I'm running a little low on characters. In it, the Sadducees, who denied the resurrection, approach the Lord and try to launch a stumper at him. After answering, rather than appealing to a passage that clearly lays out the resurrection, such as one in Daniel 12, he strangely appeals to a passage in Exodus instead, and unless Con wishes to suggest that the Lord wasn't the brightest candle on the menorah, then the most reasonable explanation for why he did this is that the Sadducees rejected the other scriptures.

The Hellenistic Jews accepted a wider canon than the Pharisees [7].

All this is, of course, accepting that Romans 3 gives the Jews the power to set the canon, which I should have disputed earlier.

2 Timothy 1

It seems that Con was impressed by my accusation that his argument was non sequitur, and thereby decided to start accusing me of fallacies in return.

Con seems to argue that since Paul didn't refer to the Lord in the second person, Paul wasn't praying, which is strange. It's obvious that the Lord's knowledge has no limit (cf. Psalms 147), so it's clear that he would know what Paul was asking. Paul wrote this into Sacred Scripture under the inspiration of God himself, and although Con tries to write this off as Paul exclaiming pointlessly or wishing vainly, it is obvious that one can ask for the intercession of the Lord without addressing him directly. For instance, look at the priestly benediction at the end of Numbers 6, given to Moses by YHVH himself.

Reply to Con's Arguments

Purgatory is only possible because the Lord spilled his blood for us. Salvation is only possible because the Lord spilled his blood for us. I don't know how much clearer I can make it.

Con blatantly undermines his own argument on 1 John 5 by making the unpardonable sin an example of a mortal sin, as according to him there are only varying degrees of sin in an earthly sense, therefore John could not have been discussing spirtual death, but only physical death. However, those who blaspheme in Matthew 12 and Mark 3 don't drop dead on the spot, which completely invalidates Con's spurious claims and vindicates my argument that 1 John 5 is referring to spiritual death and life rather than physical death and life.

I said John was likely talking about a spiritual reality because every other time in his epistle that he mentions life or death, it's spiritual and not physical, so the only reason anyone would argue that he suddenly started discussing physical death a couple of verses later without letting anyone know would be to prop up a false doctrine.

Conclusion

Even though my arguments were as pathetic as always, I appreciate my opponent's sticking it out with me until the end. This was a pretty solid debate, and I thank my opponent for making it so.

Sources:

1. http://www.biblestudytools.com...;
2. http://www.biblegateway.com...;
3. http://www.blueletterbible.org...
4. http://history.hanover.edu...;
5. http://orthodoxwiki.org...;
6. http://www.serfes.org...;
7. http://en.wikipedia.org...;
GOP

Con

GOP forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
15 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by JustinAMoffatt 3 years ago
JustinAMoffatt
RFD:
Conduct- Goes to Pro for Con's FF. I talked to Airmax, and he said that this was all that was required for an FF. If Pro had failed to meet BOP anyways, then Con still should be awarded Args. So I did that. I'll explain why when I get there.
(P.S. If Con had not FF'd then I probably wouldn't have awarded this. However, I did think Pro was closer to pushing the conduct envelope, stating one of Con's args to be "ridiculous", and I didn't like the self-deprecation at the end. You're a really darn good debater Pro, you mustn't bash yourself.)

S/G - Nothing too noteworthy that I could see.

Args- HERE is where I was on the fence for the loooooongest time. Both of you argued brilliantly. I did think that Con had Pro (if not just for so many more sources to back up his opinions) for most of the debate, but only slightly. At the end, considering Con's lack of response, Pro had seemed to wipe the floor with Con's arguments. However, Con missed one sad detail which cost him his case from what I had seen.
Pro conceded that Jesus' blood had covered ALL sins. However, he failed to justify this with his earlier statement of "purification through fire" AND Con's statement that Jesus' blood signified His death on the cross, not any other methods to be implemented later.
With this, combined with the fact that Pro couldn't provide any explicit mention of "Purgatory" in the scriptures to PROVE it was biblical, I found Pro's case to not be in harmony with the scriptures.
I think that most of Con's pointing out of Biblical context and his literal interpretation were merely countered with "well it MAY have meant..."s from Pro. However, most of the scriptures didn't specifically state whether purgatory did or did not exist, so it was all possibility anyways, a possibility that was overruled by the statement that Jesus' death had already covered ALL sins.

Sources-Con used MANY more than Pro, and some of Pro's 404ed.

Conclusion- Great debate. Both of you did incredible.
Posted by Nur-Ab-Sal 3 years ago
Nur-Ab-Sal
Oh, and personal opinion? Voting on arguments, etc., itself is inherently subjective -- don't pull that nonsense on me.
Posted by Nur-Ab-Sal 3 years ago
Nur-Ab-Sal
Mikal, are you kidding me? I gave plenty of damned reasons for voting the way I did. How in the world is the forfeiter only losing by 2 points?
Posted by Nur-Ab-Sal 3 years ago
Nur-Ab-Sal
Victores sumus!
Posted by GOP 3 years ago
GOP
WHYW HYWHWYHWYHWYH FORFEIT I FING SLEPT NAC nac
Posted by GOP 3 years ago
GOP
I really really wonder who liked this debate via Facebook.
Posted by GOP 3 years ago
GOP
"Convert to Hinduism"

Hahahahaha.
Posted by ExsurgeDomine 3 years ago
ExsurgeDomine
Well this way if I suddenly convert to Hinduism halfway through the debate, people know to vote against me.
Posted by GOP 3 years ago
GOP
Yes, but it sounds as if you had to change your religion from something else to Catholic. You were a Catholic all along, lol.
Posted by ExsurgeDomine 3 years ago
ExsurgeDomine
It was a rule, remember?
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by LevelWithMe 3 years ago
LevelWithMe
ExsurgeDomineGOPTied
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Total points awarded:12 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit. Pro used 404 sources.
Vote Placed by gordonjames 3 years ago
gordonjames
ExsurgeDomineGOPTied
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Total points awarded:15 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct - FF against con S&G - tied CA - Con challenged MT 5 adequately & Pro had BOP - Unfortunate that PRO and CON agreed on definitions of purgatory or bible as agreement might have been helpful. I did not have time to check for relevance / reliability of references. After checking references, some of PROs were bad links.
Vote Placed by JustinAMoffatt 3 years ago
JustinAMoffatt
ExsurgeDomineGOPTied
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Total points awarded:15 
Reasons for voting decision: Nice debate guys! RFD in comments.